Skip to comments.Army lent technical support to `The Great Raidí
Posted on 08/12/2005 6:05:45 PM PDT by SandRat
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Army News Service, Aug. 12, 2005) - Hollywood and the Army continued their cooperative association with the making of the film "The Great Raid."
Set in the Philippines near the end World War II, The Great Raid tells the true story of the rescue of 500 Prisoners of War by the 6th Ranger Battalion and Filipino guerillas.
Infiltrating 30 miles behind Japanese lines, the Rangers risked everything to save men imprisoned for almost three years at the infamous Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp.
To provide an accurate portrayal of events, the film makers reached out to the Army for technical assistance.
"We reviewed the script for accuracy and gave advice on things unique to Army language," said to Maj. Todd Breasseale, Army Public Affairs office in Los Angeles.
However, the Army support went well beyond advice on language. David Cole of the U.S. Army Center for Military History worked as the historical and technical advisor for the film. "My reviews covered historical accuracy in the storyline, appropriate military action and in some cases for continuity," said Cole.
According to Cole, some of the in-depth technical information included the types of U.S. and Japanese weapons and equipment, uniforms and the specific color of paint used on equipment. Even the actual 6th Ranger stationary letterhead and maps carried during the raid were duplicated.
Cole also helped locate the four surviving P-61 aircraft from World War II and provided specifications on U.S. Army Branch and rank insignia used in the southwest Pacific Area in World War II.
There were also several procedural points that took persuasion.
"It was difficult to get across the concept that privates don't hang around with officers," Cole said. "I still had to convince people that first sergeants do not 'take the point' during the march."
Hollywood cant be expected to know every detail about the Army, officials said. They pointed out thats why the Army Public Affairs office in Los Angeles and the Center of Military History contribute an essential element to the accuracy of Army-based projects. It adds credibility to the film and provides an accurate and positive image of the Army to the American public, officials said.
The film makers can use the information or choose to ignore it. But, as seen with "The Great Raid," they reached out to the Army from the beginning to make the movie as accurate as possible.
"Fortunately, the crew that I worked with on this production were very professional and had a desire to 'do it right' for which I am very grateful," Cole said.
See related article Great Raid at Cabanatuan depicts Warrior Ethos.
(Editors Note: Maj. F. Lee Reynolds is with USAR, 361st Press Camp Headquarters, Fort Totten, New York.)
WWII History PING!
Unfortunately, one of close friends told me that the film was quite distorted by a "love story bonus" included... why does hollywood always attach this stuff to their films?... they should have spent that time to every heroic actions of my most admired men. ...sad to say
"love story bonus"
This MIGHT be about the woman (dunno her name) who's husband was murdered on the Death March. She opened a bar for Japanese officers, and she and her waitresses were able to cull information from them and pass them on to the US. The tips she received were used to smuggle medicine into the prison camp(s). Sorry if I ruined the movie for you.
"3. Landing at Inchon"
It's been done. Check this out:
ahh.. well thanks for the info, i'll try to remember her name...
I would like to see a movie about Chosin.
I have read a few books, and spoken to a few vets of that action. It is one of the great, untold stories of the American Military.
I still want to see a movie about Iwo Jima, just for the historical perspective if done right.
It sounds like the movie makers for this one expect a large audience of veterans. Hollywood isn't known recently for producing documentaries that actually document.
Rangers lead the way.
how about a remake of the McConnell Story?
I assume you have seen "Pork Chop Hill".
You might also check out "Retreat, Hell".
I am presently working on a screenplay concerning the use of Soviet pilots secretly flying for North Korea. In my Mig Alley script I will cover the main characters from World War Two's 77th Fighter Squadron, 7th Air Force (American Volunteer Group), that fought and flew along side Russian forces on the Eastern Front to the dog fights between American F-86s and North Korean Migs flown by Soviet pilots.
American Forces knew Soviet pilots were flying Migs against our Sabers, but they kept quiet in the hope they could capture one of the Russians alive. This quest is one of the subplots of my story.
For more info on the other almost unknown AVG "Flying Tigers" in WW2, go to http://777avg.com/unithistory/
Saw both movies. Porl Chop Hill was one of my favoritws bwcause I served in the Army with a man that fought at Pork Chop, he also served two tours in Nam. That's why I didn't mention the movie.
Porl = Pork
Isn't this a violation of someone's civil rights? (ala the Scouts receiving support from the military). Where's the ACLU?
All sarcasm aside, I have no problem with the Army helping out on films of historical significance. I can't wait to see this film; will be going to see it sometime within the next 2 weeks.
4 Chosin Reservoir
Dale Dye was also a military advisor on this film. He also got a cameo as a General.
I just watched the movie, and I thought it was great. The brutality of the Japanese military against the POWs and the civilians in the Philipines was depicted. The Philipino Resistance was also honorably depicted. What they did, and the costs they paid is depicted.
The film has many messages which should be heard by those who have not heard them yet.
As for the love story, it is no doubt a dramatization, but represents quite well what happened for many, many couples during the war.
After watching this movie, you will be ready to join me in a Happy Hiroshima Day and Happy Nagasaki Day wish!
I just saw the movie and give it two thumbs up. I don't think they ruined the film with a corny romance either.
Got that Right!
Looking forward to seeing "The Great Raid" if it ever gets to this overgrown cowtown. You probably know that I go to war movies mainly to see if they get the weapons right. From what I saw in the previews they do.
Let's just say that the film "A Bridge Too Far" was the last one that they sort of came close.
The P-61 was a sweet bird along with the P-38's and the P-51.
It would be sweet to get out the old plans and rebuild them using today's superstrong, lightweight materials and uber accurate high-tech defense manufacturing processes.
I hope this is a MAJOR hit and moneymaker. We really need to support those who are trying to do it right.
I don't understand this; Hollywood will show the WWII Japanese in that light and keep it fairly accurate to the actual survivor's accounts. Then why won't they do Cornealius Ryan's book "The Last Battle" with equal accuracy? If they've ever made it into a film.
As you probably already know, I am not a movie-goer only set foot in a theater maybe once or twice a year, if that -- for three reasons: (1) most of the stuff that passes for cinematic excellence these days is no more visually or intellectually rewarding than staring at road kill, (2) I cringe at the thought of lining the pockets of the politically-activist Hollywood left, and (3) Id rather be biking. :)
With that disclaimer out of the way Rick and I saw the just-released movie The Great Raid last night. Before telling you a little about the movie, let me first describe three reactions (two audience, and one personal) that may provide a clue as to its impact:
(1) I generally wear a headband in my hair (its long) to keep it out of my face. I took the headband off during the movie and was holding it in my hands. During one of the more emotionally wrenching scenes, I unconsciously broke it in half. :)
(2) The theater was about half full. When the daring POW rescue around which the story centers succeeded, and the American POWs and their rescuers walked/staggered/were carried through the camp gates, the audience erupted in applause and some cheers, accompanied by tears.
(3) When the story had ended, the credits began to roll, accompanied in the background by dozens of black-and-white photos of the actual POW camp survivors, their rescuers, and their welcome home to American soil. Hardly a person in the theater left until the credits and stream of photos were over. And, when we did leave, we all left in silence.
It is the story of what is said to be the most successful rescue mission in the history of the American military. It beautifully details how the 6th Ranger Battalion (comprised of an elite group of 121 men), accompanied by a large group of Filipino guerrillas, traveled thirty miles by foot, behind enemy lines (which numbered nearly 30,000 Japanese), in order to rescue the 511 remaining survivors of the Bataan Death March. Word had come back that the Japanese were torturing and brutally murdering American POWs rather than housing them until the end of the war. The plan was to rescue those survivors who represented the mere five percent who endured the unprecedented, sadistically barbaric Bataan march, and then three additional indescribably brutal, gruesome, macabre years in Camp Cabanatuan in the Philippines. Miraculously, 523 Japanese troops were killed or wounded during the raid, yet only two Americans and twenty-one Filipino guerillas were killed in the mission, with two dying afterwards of their wounds.
I wont go into much more detail about the story (although it is extremely difficult not to want to share some of the more arresting and wrenching scenes) because I hope you will try to see the movie, and because I suspect that you are already painfully aware of the factual account of the brutality of the Bataan Death March, the inhumane conditions in the POW camp, and the details of the rescue itself.
The Great Raid portrays one extraordinarily moving chapter in the Pacific theater in the same way that Saving Private Ryan does regarding D-Day and its aftermath in Europe. As a movie, Saving Private Ryan may be somewhat more powerful, but the impact of this movie is significantly enhanced by the fact that it is not a fictional account. And its a shame that the magnificence and inspiring success of this raid, in the face of overwhelming odds, were eclipsed by subsequent events such as the liberation of Iwo Jima and the bombing of Hiroshima.
What made the deepest impression on me was the fact that the elite Ranger battalion was ordered on this mission, not because it in any way benefited the Allies in a militarily strategic way. It was simply a mission of mercy a seemingly impossible, suicidal assignment: to traverse thirty miles, by foot, outnumbered by enemy troops in the area by a ratio of 100:1, and rescue and transport home the last of those who, three years earlier, had been abandoned when Macarthur was ordered to leave the Philippines. The mission was simply to bring home those last remaining 511 men who had endured a hell on earth the likes of which none of us can even imagine, and who had come to believe that their country had abandoned them.
The sadistic tactics of the Japanese army (beginning in one of the very first scenes, in which American POWs were herded into underground air raid shelters, into which gasoline tanks were then rolled and ignited and any burning POW who ran from the conflagration was gunned down) eerily reminded me of many of the hauntingly brutal scenes in Jeremiah Dentons Vietnam-era POW saga, When Hell Was in Session or The Hanoi Hilton.
I have been repeating, again and again, here on the forum that I believe that one of the most powerful forces working to bring our republic to her knees is the fact that America arose from Christian roots, but much of the rest of the world doesn't share that foundation or its viewpoints. The genius of our founding fathers, and the grace and generous blessings of God, gave birth to our indispensable national belief that human life is precious, and must be treasured and preserved at all costs. To ignore the fact that that fundamental cultural belief is not shared by much of the rest of the world may one day prove to be the death of us.
We need only look at the brutal human atrocities portrayed in this film and beyond: to Stalins Ukrainian starvation, the Holocaust, the Vietnam POW camps, the killing fields of Cambodia, Maos cultural revolution, North Koreas purges and concentration camps, genocides in Armenia, Ethiopia, Turkey, Biafra, Rwanda, East Timor, Sudan ad infinitum.
We need only look at comments such as this one, made recently by a high-ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party:
Whatever the case may be, we can only move forward fearlessly for the sake of our Party and state and our nations future, regardless of the hardships we have to face and the sacrifices we have to make. The population, even if more than half dies, can be reproduced. But if the Party falls, everything is gone, and forever gone!
And now, when terrorists (such a nebulous term, when so many violent, bloodthirsty splinter groups are included under that massive umbrella) threaten to murder all humans who do not choose to believe as they do now is the time when we must recognize, and defensively react to, the fact that life is not precious to the rulers of the majority of the global population and those who knowingly elect to follow them.
Even more disturbing, and equally necessary to acknowledge, is the fact that life is not as precious to those of our countrymen who occupy the far left of the political spectrum as it is to the rest of us. And, because of their lowering of the bar as regards the sanctity of life, they are every bit as much enemies of this republic as are foreign terrorists.
Our homegrown enemies defile life by their acceptance and support of partial birth abortion, convenient euthanasia, and the like.
As recent evidence of the fact that, in the mids of the far left, political power and the furtherance of political ideology places a reverence for life lower on a list of human priorities, consider the number of decisions (both overt and behind-the-scenes) made by our forty-second president, and his cohorts on the Hill and in the courts, that were either treasonous or short-sighted many of which still put this entire nation and her people at risk. The most recent example of this atrocious behavior is the revelation that Clinton administration lawyers ordered military intelligence officials to keep under wraps, rather than sharing with the FBI, sensitive information they had discovered on Mohamed Atta, the instigator of the 9/11 attacks and that Clinton and the mainstream media, yet today, are treating this abominable revelation as a non-story, in spite of the fact that that very directive might well have contributed to the loss of 3,000 American lives.
The extreme left also seeks to downplay (at best), or ignore (at worst), the human atrocities committed by our foreign enemies. We are no longer permitted to see photos of beheaded infidels, hear reports of kidnappings, tortures and mutilations, or re-witness innocent Americans jumping to their deaths from the conflagration that was once the World Trade Center. And the average American has very little, if any, real knowledge of the inconceivably gruesome structures and implements of torture and dismemberment our soldiers have unearthed since our liberation of Iraq. We are shielded from the human-on-human barbarism occurring in so many parts of the world. If you ask the average American In how many countries do you believe torture, genocide and/or slavery are prevalent? I would imagine he couldnt name more than one or two, when, in reality, there are dozens and growing.
And our homegrown enemies strategy is a double-barreled one. In addition to suppressing the fact that our belief in the sanctity of human life is not shared by much of the rest of the world, they also invariably seek out, or manufacture, examples of American barbarism in an effort to prove that the wars in which we are involved are prosecuted on a more-or-less level moral playing field.
Just one of the more recent of countless examples: The behaviors of a few mental degenerates (whose incidence probably represents .001% of the population of this country) in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was plastered all over our (and the worlds) televisions for weeks on end and it still merits mention now and then, when a homegrown enemy seeks to paint the American conscience with the same brush stroke as the mindset of those who seek our destruction, and who value human life only to the degree that it suits their purposes or furthers their agenda.
Some of the most recent such homegrown enemy utterances have come from Cindy Sheehan, in an address she gave at San Francisco State University:
'America has been killing people on this continent since it was started.'
'The biggest terrorist is George W. Bush.'
'The U.S. government a morally repugnant system.'
In just the past couple of weeks alone, Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda, and Dick Gregory have echoed the same ludicrous types of accusations, and worse. Multiply those three leftist Hollywood types by several hundred. And then multiply that by the number of mindless followers such glib celebrities impress and you have an idea of the number of Americans who believe this country is every bit as evil as those who would destroy us.
The American republic isnt without warts. Far from it. But our Christian roots, and Judeo/Christian view of life (yes, I happily plead guilty to unbridled, America-centric political incorrectness) places the American belief in the sanctity of life at odds with much of the rest of the world. And, falling prey to the efforts of our enemies within by allowing ourselves to be convinced that we are just as ruthless as our enemies, will prove deadly. It will dilute our vigilance. It will promote the we are the world mindset that believes that all men are good, if only we are willing to sit at the same table with them, and treat them with dignity and respect.
The greatest generation learned that significant lesson the hard way. And, by virtue of their integrity, courage, sense of duty, and love of country, they emerged victorious over power-hungry barbarians.
Now, six decades later, the power-hungry barbarians are wearing a new face, and are no longer concentrated in fairly easily definable areas on the globe. Some of them even live among us, in terrorist cells throughout the country. So, in some ways, we need to be more wary, more suspicious, and more vigilant than our heroes of the 40s were because we are under attack on so many more fronts.
We must recognize that their (our foreign and home-grown enemies) assessment of the value of life is diametrically opposed to ours. And we must realize that they are forever attempting to camouflage that fact by either hiding or disguising their beliefs, or by deliberately distorting ours. If we dont acknowledge that distinction, we will downplay the need for vigilance, and we will ultimately fail in our responsibility to step forward and fill the shoes of the greatest generation.
Reflecting on that distinction may prove uncomfortable.
Not doing so threatens our very survival.
46 posted on 08/13/2005 11:35:42 AM EDT by joanie-f (If you believe God is your co-pilot, it might be time to switch seats ...)
Nice read, good job. We, Americans are surrounded by rabid wolves. We amy have to kill them at our doorsteps before this war on terror is over.
Saw it this afternoon -- a wonderful movie! -- but I didn't see any airplanes 'cept a couple of P-51s and a Lockheed Hudson.
When I first got to Az in the early 70's there were still P-51s in the bone yard at D-M.
"Two of the greatest dangers to survival are a desire for comfort and a passive outlook."
Been there several times before my son graduated from college in the spring of '03.